Here it is, the end of an era. Today Nike announced the final on-court Kobe shoe. The colorway is titled, Achilles Heel, and is a stunning red, black, and gold. This model looks a lot like the Kobe 8 & 9 and in my book, that isn’t a bad thing. We are also hearing rumors that there won’t be an Elite or High Top version of the Kobe. That probably means they are going to push out a ton of colorways. I hope they revisit some of the classic colorways for this final release.
The upper is made of an enhanced fly-knit which they are claiming is perfect for hoops as it has a plastic yarn woven in for flexibility and strength. As long as it isn’t rigid like the Kobe X, it should be just fine.
The cushioning is a full-length Lunarlon insole with a drop-in zoom bag which should work well. The forefoot section of the Lunarlon has grooves in it to increase flexibility.
The traction pattern is new with a multi-dimensional pattern that looks decent but we need some more info before we can judge the effectiveness.
All in all it looks great and yes, I’m more sad about the shoe line ending than Kobe’s career ending. I think they will still push out shoes under the Kobe brand but like we saw with Jordan, it isn’t the same.
We have also seen a few other colorways release today which look promising. This Kobe XI model – Achilles Heel – is scheduled for release on Jan 9, 2015. I haven’t seen a price point yet but I imagine they will be $199.